MHKiT Environmental Contours

Environmental contours of extreme sea states can be used as a part of reliability-based design for offshore structures, including wave energy converters (WECs). Environmental contours provide estimations of extreme sea states based on short-term data (e.g. 10 years used to estimate a 100-year event). These environmental contours describe extreme sea states by characterizing the resource, defining sea states for extreme condition analysis, and developing a framework for analyzing survivability of a design.
MHKiT includes functions adapted from the WDRT for creating environmental contours of extreme sea states using a principal component analysis (PCA) methodology, with additional improvements for characterizing the joint probability distribution of sea states. As a demonstration, this notebook will walk through the following steps to find a 100-year sea state for NDBC buoy 46022 using 16 years of spectral wave density data.
  1. Request Spectral Wave Density Data from NDBC
  2. Calculate Hm0 and Te using the requested data
  3. Find the data's 100-year contour
  4. Plot the data and the 100-year contour

1. Request Spectral Wave Density Data from NDBC

MHKiT can be used to request historical data from the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC). This process is split into the following steps:

Query available NDBC data

The NDBC_available_data function requires a parameter to be specified and optionally the user may provide a station ID as a string. We are interested in historical spectral wave density data 'swden' (from which we may calculate Hm0 and Te). Additionally, we will specify the buoy number as '46022' to only return data associated with this site.
% Specify the parameter as spectral wave density and the buoy number to be 46022
parameter = 'swden';
buoy_number = '46022';
available_data= NDBC_available_data(parameter,"buoy_number", buoy_number);
available_data = 25×3 table

Select years of interest

The NDBC_available_data function has returned a Table with columns 'Station_id', 'year', and 'file'. In this case, the years returned from NDBC_available_data span 1996 to the last complete year the buoy was operational (currently 2019 for 46022). For demonstration, we have decided we are interested in the data between the years 1996 and 2012 so we will create a new filenames_of_interest variable which only contains filenames of years less than 2013.
% Slice the available data to only include through year 2012
rows = (available_data.year < "2013") ;
filenames_of_interest = available_data.file(rows);
filenames_of_interest = 18×1 string array

Request Data from NDBC

To get the NDBC data we can use the NDBC_request_data function to iterate over each buoy id and year in passed filenames. This function will return the parameter data as a structure of structures which may be accessed by buoy id and then the year for multiple buoys or just the year for a single buoy. An additional data column called 'time' is created with time in datetime format.
ndbc_requested_data = NDBC_request_data(parameter, filenames_of_interest);

2. Calculate Hm0 and Te using the NDBC Data

A sea state may be characterized by significant wave height (Hm0) and energy period (Te). Using the historical spectral wave density data from NDBC, we can calculate these variables using MHKiT. Both Hm0 and Te return a single value for a given time (e.g. DateTime index).
Hm0 = [];
Te = [];
for field = fieldnames(ndbc_requested_data)'
Hm0 = [Hm0 ; significant_wave_height(ndbc_requested_data.(field{1}))];
Te = [Te ; energy_period(ndbc_requested_data.(field{1}))];

3. Find the 100 year contour line

With the sea state data calculated, we can now use the modified I-FORM method to define reliability for a 100-year sea state based on the 17 years of spectral wave density data obtained from NDBC for buoy 46022. Reliability is the likelihood that a certain event will not occur in a given period. The period will define a line of constant probability in the joint probability of Hm0 and Te but individually each component different reliability (marginal distribution) which we can find by evaluating a normal cumulative distribution function (CDF). This CDF returns each component's quantiles along the iso-reliability line that finally allows us to calculate each sea state value (e.g. the 100-year contour values for Hm0 and Te).
For more detail on the environmental contour method used here please refer to: Eckert-Gallup et. al 2016
To apply the environmental contours function we will specify a 100-year sea state, the sea state data (Hm0, Te), and the time difference between measurements (dt in seconds).
% Return period (years) of interest
period = 100 ;
% Remove Hm0 Outliers and NaNs
filter = Hm0 < 20;
Hm0 = Hm0(filter);
Te = Te(filter);
[row, col] = find(~isnan(Te));
Hm0 = Hm0(row);
Te = Te(row);
[row, col] = find(~isnan(Hm0));
Hm0 = Hm0(row);
Te = Te(row);
% Delta time of sea-states in seconds
dt = ndbc_requested_data.year_1996.time(2)- ndbc_requested_data.year_1996.time(1);
dt= seconds(dt);
% Get the contour values
contour = environmental_contour(Hm0, Te, dt, period);

4. Plot overlay of the data and contour

Lastly we can use the MHKiT graphics module to create a contour plot which shows the data and resultant conotour line.
'Energy Period (s)', "y_label",'Significant Wave Height (m)',"data_label",'NDBC 46022',...
"contour_label",'100 Year Contour');